This summer, my boyfriend and I have made it our intention to get in as many cottage weekends as possible. Our Summer of Cottaging began during the May long weekend at a rental cottage near Haliburton, and since then, we’ve visited three others, including his family cottage in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
There’s something so wonderful about the act of cottaging in Canada during the summer. It’s not even necessarily about the sun, the water, or even the booze; it’s about the whole process, from grocery shopping on Thursday night to finishing up that last bit of work on Friday to holding hands on the drive home on Sunday.
Cottaging means spending time with your closest friends and family, doing the simplest things like gathering around the table to play Scrabble, roasting marshmallows over the fire or canoeing around the lake together.
Quality time at the cottage is different than quality time in the city. For one thing, you’re away from daily responsibilities like work and emails, but cottages also give you an opportunity to see your people in a different light, with a sunglasses tan and a goofy smile and their guard down completely. A trip to the cottage can make you fall in love with someone all over again if you let it.
Even if you aren’t surrounded by friends and family at the cottage, the natural world has undeniable rejuvenating powers, especially during the summer. Just being by water (even the dark, often murky waters of Canadian lakes), can bring a feeling of peace to an overworked brain, while the breeze in the trees and the singing of a bird can do wonders for ears accustomed to car horns and beeping phones.
Cottaging gives your soul the space it needs to breathe deeply again. It can give you the time to wind down, spend time with loved ones and do the things you love like reading or yoga-ing. And if you’re in Canada, the cottages are often surrounded by quaint and picturesque locales like Bleu Lavande lavender farm in Quebec.
Obviously, not everyone has access to cottages or the funds to rent one all the time. If you live in the city, there are plenty of alternatives to heading north like walking along the lakeshore, visiting a botanical garden or having a picnic in High Park.
I feel so grateful that I’ve had the chance to experience the calm and beauty of the Canadian countryside so many times already this summer, and I hope everyone gets a chance to do the same.